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12/27/2021: The Indian government on Monday "refused" to renew a permission that is vital for Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity (MoC) to be able to secure foreign funds, cutting off a key source the charity has depended on to run its programs for the impoverished. Nobel-laureate Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic nun who died in 1997, founded the MoC in 1950. The charity has more than 3,000 nuns worldwide who run hospices, community kitchens, schools, leper colonies and homes for abandoned children. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused permission to the charity under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) on Saturday after it received some "adverse inputs", a government statement said. "While considering the MoC's renewal application, some adverse inputs were noticed," the home ministry said, without providing details. The ministry also rejected an earlier allegation of the West Bengal state chief minister Mamata Banerjee that the bank accounts of the charity were frozen. Later, the MoC in a statement confirmed their FCRA application was not renewed and that it has asked its centres not to operate any foreign contributions accounts until the matter is resolved. The move comes as hardline Hindu outfits affiliated to Modi's party have accused the MoC of leading religious

It is an attack on the poorest of the poor, said the Catholic church. Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity said on Monday that it had asked its centres across India not to operate the organisation’s foreign contribution accounts after the Ministry of Home Affairs refused to renew its permission to receive funds from abroad. The Catholic organisation runs more than 240 homes for orphans, the destitute and AIDS patients across India. The ministry said in a press release that the organisation’s application was refused on Christmas Day for failing to meet the eligibility conditions under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010 and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules 2011. “

Read the story in www.time.com Mother Teresa, founder of the Missionaries of Charity, at a hospice for the destitute and dying in Kolkata, India, in 1969. India’s government has barred the Missionaries of Charity, the Catholic religious order and philanthropic organization started by Mother Teresa, from accessing foreign donations for not meeting eligibility conditions under local laws, the federal Home Ministry said. The charity, set up by the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1950, has its headquarters in the eastern city of Kolkata and works with some of the country’s most poor and destitute people. The group’s application to renew its license to continue getting foreign funds under India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act “was refused on 25 Dec. 2021 for not meeting the eligibility conditions,” the ministry said in a statement Monday. “No request / revision application has been received from Missionaries of Charity (MoC) for review of this refusal of renewal.” The Christian charity confirmed in a statement that the renewal of its FCRA application hasn’t been approved and that it has asked its centers not to operate foreign contribution accounts until the matter is resolved. The ministry’s statement gave no details on what rules the group had flouted. This is not the first time

All the bank accounts of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity have been frozen on the behest of the central government, according to various reports. The central authorities have issued orders to cease all transactions through these bank accounts across India, leaving 22,000 patients and people without any treatment and food. The news was also confirmed on Twitter by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who said, “Shocked to hear that on Christmas, Union Ministry FROZE ALL BANK ACCOUNTS of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in India! Their 22,000 patients & employees have been left without food and medicines. While the law is paramount, humanitarian efforts must not be compromised(sic).” According to a report by ABP (a national news daily), officials of the Charity in Kolkata said that they were aware of the order but refused to comment on the matter. However, there has been no confirmation from the centre or the Home Ministry at this time.

Read the story on Thewire.in New Delhi: Incidents of anti-Christian protests, ruckus, and misdemeanor perpetrated by rightwing Hindutva organizations were reported both on news outlets and across social media in the lead up to and on Christmas Day, across states. Uttar Pradesh 1. On Christmas eve, members reportedly belonging to the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal and other rightwing groups set an effigy of Santa Claus on fire in the middle of a street in Agra while shouting “Santa Claus Murdabad”. According to a report in India Today, this was a protest against “using the ruse of Santa Claus during Christmas”. The main instigator appears to be one Ajju Chauhan, who reportedly said, “Santa [Claus] does not come bearing any gifts, his only goal is to convert the Hindus to Christianity. It’s not going to work anymore. Any attempt at conversion will not be allowed to succeed. If this is not stopped, then there will be agitations at missionary schools.” In 2015, Ajju Chauhan, whose real name is Avnindra Pratap Singh, and who was then a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, made headlines for organising a ‘ghar wapsi’ (return home) programme to convert ‘1,500 Muslim families’ to Hinduism. He was later reportedly sacked from the VHP

A Catholic church was vandalized in the southern Indian state of Karnataka even as lawmakers were debating the enactment of a law to prevent religious conversions. “A statue of Saint Anthony was found broken in St. Joseph Church in Bangalore Archdiocese on Dec. 23 morning,” said J.A. Kantharaj, archdiocesan public relations officer. “We have no clue who could be behind the attack,” he told UCA News, adding that the parish priest had already lodged a complaint with police who visited the church. St. Joseph Church is more than 150 years old and it is suspected that Hindu vigilantes may have been behind the attack as part of a well-orchestrated strategy to corner the Christian minority across Karnataka. Indian news agency ANI said a first information report has been registered by the rural police station against unknown persons for vandalizing Saint Anthony’s statue in Chickaballapur district, about 65 kilometers from state capital Bengaluru, known globally as the information technology capital of India. Of late, the southern state ruled by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become one of the hotspots for anti-Christian violence, with Hindu groups accusing the minority community and its institutions of carrying out religious conversions. Karnataka has witnessed many churches and prayer houses

Read the story in SCROLL.IN The Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, will still need to be approved in the Legislative Council, where the BJP does not have a majority. Amid strong opposition, the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, was passed by the state Assembly on Thursday by a voice vote, NDTV reported. The anti-conversion Bill was approved by the state Cabinet on Monday and tabled in Assembly on Wednesday despite criticism from the Opposition. The Bill proposes maximum punishment of a jail term of 10 years for forcible religious conversion of women, minors and people from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. It says that “conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, fraud, undue influence, coercion, allurement or marriage’’ is prohibited. Even after the Bill’s passage in the Karnataka Assembly, it still needs to be approved by the state’s Legislative Council. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party does not have a majority in the 75-member Upper House. The BJP has 32 seats in the Legislative Council, Congress has 29, Janata Dal (Secular) 12 and there is one Independent candidate. Bill brought in by Congress: BJP During the discussion in the Assembly, Law Minister JC Madhu Swamy placed

12/22/2021: Members of more than 40 organizations came to the streets of Bengaluru to protest against a bill passed by the Karnataka assembly to regulate religious convention in the southern Indian state. The December 21 rally demanded the withdrawal of “the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021” that the rally organizers described as anti-people and unconstitutional. The bill tramples upon the constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of religion, privacy and dignity, they said. Speaking at the protest, constitutional law expert Arvind Narrain said that the Supreme Court has recognized that individuals have the freedom to dress the way they want, eat what they want and practice the faith they want. The bill by seeking to target conversions interferes with both the human right to dignity and the freedom to practice the faith of their choice. Gowramma of Janwadi Mahila Sanghatan stated that Karnataka was facing dark days and that the bill is not just an attack on religion but an attack on all women. The bill presumes that women and individuals from Dalit and SC communities do not have the agency to decide the religion they want to belong to. Demanding that the state withdraw the bill, she asked that

Read the main story in nytimes.com 12/22/2021: “They want to remove us from society,” a Christian farmer said of Hindu extremists. Rising attacks on Christians are part of a broader shift in India, in which minorities feel less safe. INDORE, India — The Christians were mid-hymn when the mob kicked in the door. A swarm of men dressed in saffron poured inside. They jumped onstage and shouted Hindu supremacist slogans. They punched pastors in the head. They threw women to the ground, sending terrified children scuttling under their chairs. “They kept beating us, pulling out hair,” said Manish David, one of the pastors who was assaulted. “They yelled: ‘What are you doing here? What songs are you singing? What are you trying to do?’” The attack unfolded on the morning of Jan. 26 at the Satprakashan Sanchar Kendra Christian center in the city of Indore. The police soon arrived, but the officers did not touch the aggressors. Instead, they arrested and jailed the pastors and other church elders, who were still dizzy from getting punched in the head. The Christians were charged with breaking a newly enforced law that targets religious conversions, one that mirrors at least a dozen other measures across the country that

Read the story at SCROLL.IN Investigation: How VHP and Madhya Pradesh police colluded to put a Christian pastor in jail The pastor won a court stay on notices about religious conversion. A day later, he was arrested – based on a complaint by a man who denies making the statement. Ramesh Vasunia, a pastor from Padalva village in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district, has been in jail since December 5, charged with attempting forced religious conversions. His wife and four others have also been arrested on the same charges. The arrests were ostensibly based on a complaint against the pastor by Moga Vasunia, a resident of the same village. The first information report registered by the police states Moga Vasunia and four others had visited the prayer hall where Pastor Ramesh was conducting a service on December 5. There, the pastor allegedly sprayed holy water on Moga Vasunia. The FIR also claims that the pastor had promised the visitors Rs 1,000 each, a motorcycle and medical facilities if they converted to Christianity. But Moga Vasunia, the 70-year-old pandit of a Shiva temple in Padalva, now denies making those allegations. “This is wrong. I have never been sprayed with [holy] water or lured with a bike, nor

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